Species Guide: Common Urban Trees

Pokok Trompet Mawar

A couple of flowering trumpet trees along the roadside. Photo by Goh Tay Hock

Common name: Trumpet Tree

Malay name: Pokok Trompet Mawar

Scientific name: Tabebuia pentaphylla

Conservation status: Cultivated, Naturalised, Introduced (Central & South America)


A medium-sized or large tree that sheds leaves seasonally. There are five pointed leaves per leaf stalk. Flowers are pink or white, trumpet-shaped and five-petaled. Flowering is triggered by dry season. Produces long, slender fruits that split open when mature.

Habit: Perennial tree

Cultivation: It is planted by seeds,stem cuttings or air-layering

Ecological function: Provide shade

Pollinator: –

Soil: Sand, loam, clay

Moisture: Well-drained, fertile soils

Shade: No shade

Use: Ornamental, timber

Interesting fact: In Malaysia, this tree is known as the “Cherry Blossoms of Penang” after its pink flowers which are much like the cherry blossoms of Japan. Other local nicknames for the plant include “tissue paper tree”, referring to its thin petals. Flowers form a spectacular pink carpet on the ground around the tree when it falls.

By ShangMing

A plant lover. I like small, medium, gigantic, ordinary, exotic, local, foreign plants. Just because they thrive to stand out.